The council issued its recommendation in response to Minister Van Engelshoven’s submission of her ‘Strategic Agenda for Higher Education and Research’ to the House of Representatives in December. In the view of the Education Council, this agenda does not take due account of current developments in basic education and vocational education and training.

ingrid van engelshoven minister ocw – rijksoverheid

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As a result, the Minister’s plans don’t pay enough attention to transfers and follow-up within the education sector, according to the Council. For example, which skills and knowledge should future students acquire within basic education to ensure that they can keep up at a university of applied sciences or research university? And vice versa: how can higher educational institutions successfully deal with knowledge disparities among incoming students?

For some time now, the Education Council has been arguing for a single plan for the entire education sector, says a spokesperson: “We see the Minister’s presentation of her Strategic Agenda as a logical occasion to repeat this advice.”

Sticking points

In addition, the Council wonders what added value a four-year plan could still have now that the Agenda has been joined by quality agreements and sector-wide agreements and plans. How does the Strategic Agenda relate to these frameworks?

A proper outlook covers a term of ten to fifteen years, concludes the Council. In the meantime, the Minister doesn’t have to sit on her hands. The Council calls on Van Engelshoven to take on a number of urgent sticking points in the sector – such as the heavy pressure of work experienced by lecturers and researchers.

minister ocw ingrid van engelshoven – rijksoverheid

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